IFN regulatory factor 2 inhibits expression of glycolytic genes and lipopolysaccharide-Induced proinflammatory responses in macrophages

Academic Article


  • Rapid initiation and timely resolution of inflammatory response in macrophages are synergistic events that are known to be equally critical to optimal host defense against pathogen infections. However, the regulation of these processes, in particular by a specific cellular metabolic program, has not been well understood. In this study, we found that IFN regulatory factor 2 (IRF2) underwent an early degradation in a proteasome-mediated pathway in LPS-treated mouse macrophages, followed by a later recovery of the expression via transactivation. We showed that IRF2 was anti-inflammatory in that knockdown of this protein promoted the production of LPS-induced proinflammatory mediators. Mechanistically, although IRF2 apparently did not target the proximal cytoplasmic signaling events upon LPS engagements, it inhibited HIF-1a–dependent expression of glycolytic genes and thereby cellular glycolysis, sequential events necessary for the IRF2 anti-inflammatory activity. We found that macrophages in endotoxin tolerant state demonstrated deficiency in LPS-augmented glycolysis, which was likely caused by failed downregulation of IRF2 and the ensuing upregulation of the glycolytic genes in these cells. In contrast to observations with LPS, knockdown of IRF2 decreased IL-4–induced macrophage alternative activation. The pro–IL-4 activity of IRF2 was dependent on KLF4, a key mediator of the alternative activation, which was transcriptionally induced by IRF2. In conclusion, our data suggest that IRF2 is an important regulator of the proinflammatory response in macrophages by controlling HIF-1a–dependent glycolytic gene expression and glycolysis. This study also indicates IRF2 as a novel therapeutic target to treat inflammatory disorders associated with dysregulations of macrophage activations. The Journal of Immunology, 2018, 200: 3218–3230.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Cui H; Banerjee S; Guo S; Xie N; Liu G
  • Start Page

  • 3218
  • End Page

  • 3230
  • Volume

  • 200
  • Issue

  • 9